Post-Mortem — Anatomy of a Successful Amazon Kindle Book Launch (“Love-Based Copywriting” Book) part 1

As you can probably imagine, this has been an absolutely crazy week with the launch of my new book “Love-Based Copywriting — How to Write Copy that Attracts, Inspires and Invites Your Ideal Prospects to Become Ideal Clients.”LoveBasedBook_03

Now that the dust has settled, I thought it would helpful to you, my community, to talk about what went right and what went wrong to help you if you yourself ever choose to do a book launch.

Now, there are 2 parts to a launch — the outer game (which is the actual book launch strategy) and the inner game (which is your mindset or what’s going on in your head during the launch). I’m going to talk more about the inner game in my two upcoming columns — The Writer’s Life and Life, Biz and the Pursuit of Happiness — and starting with this post, I’m going to cover the outer game strategies. (This post is the first of a series where I’ll break the book launch down.)

First off, why did I choose the Kindle platform on Amazon to launch my book? (Especially since I heard from A LOT of you who did not care at all for Amazon — I think some of you even went so far as to compare Amazon to the devil.)

Here’s the thing: Amazon has the largest search engine of buyers on the Internet.


Folks looking to purchase a book on whatever is keeping themselves up at night. NOT tire kickers or people looking to cobble together answers via free stuff.  (I talked more about using Amazon as part of your overall marketing strategy right here.)

Therefore it makes sense to have a presence on Amazon, so when people are searching for your topic, you pop up. And the way to have a presence on Amazon is to have a book people can purchase. And with how big Kindle, iPad, smart phones and tablets are taking off, you can start by just releasing a Kindle version and worry about an actual printed book later. (Yes, printed books are great and important to have, but they do take more time, energy and money to get together so starting with a Kindle version may be smarter move.)

Now there are a few different ways to do a book launch depending on what your goals are. I’m not going to go into all the different launches, today I just want to talk about what I did, which was give the book away for free for 5 days.

So that probably brings up 2 questions — how do you give a book away for free on Amazon and why would I do that?

I’ll start with the logistics — if you want to give a book away for free or use any of Amazon’s other promotional programs, you need to enroll your book in the KDP Select. When you do that, you’re part of the Kindle lending library (where Amazon pays you every time someone “borrows” your book) plus Amazon allows you to use their promotional programs.

Amazon WANTS books to be a part of the KDP Select program, so that’s why you do get some “perks” when you’re a part of it.

Now the downside is I can’t put the digital version of the book on Barnes and Noble or any other digital bookstore, but for right this second I’m okay with that since Amazon is currently the 10,000 pound gorilla so you might as benefit from their marketing chops. And if that ever changes, well, you’re only in this program for 3 months at a time, so it’s not a terribly big deal to get out of it.

Okay so now the WHY would I give my book away for free.

Well, if you have a business where you have other ways to make money besides selling books, offering your book for free makes sense as it’s a good way to promote yourself and your business. But even beyond the obvious benefit of getting your content into the hands of as many ideal prospects and clients as you can, there are other benefits to using the free giveaway.

The interesting thing about giving away your book for free is when it switches from free to paid, your rankings in Amazon reflect all the downloads you had when it was free. So, it’s a quick way to move up the rankings and build momentum in Amazon.

Also, if you happen to have multiple books on Amazon, every time you do a free promotion, you end up also making sales for your other books, so it’s a great way to cross-promote all your other books and make some actual money.

So all of that is well and good and certainly makes it worthwhile to put your book on Amazon Kindle and promote it, but there were most definitely some drawbacks to the launch (after all, you ARE playing in someone else’s sandbox which means you’re also a bit at their mercy) which I’ll talk about in Part 2.

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2 thoughts on “Post-Mortem — Anatomy of a Successful Amazon Kindle Book Launch (“Love-Based Copywriting” Book) part 1

  1. Tracey Pedersen

    Hi Michele – Thanks for this info. Did you already have sales for this book before you put it on free? My book has just gone through its free days and had some great downloads and got very high into its categories. But the minute it came off free all the rankings disappeared and it is now unranked (still almost 36 hours later). I’m wondering if this is because I did the free as soon as it was published without having sales first. I can’t even buy one myself now to see if that bumps it up the ranks because we all downloaded a free one and it won’t let us get it again! hahaha! First world problems eh?

  2. Michele PW Post author

    Hi Tracey — this is a really interesting question and I don’t know the answer. For this particular book yes I had sales before, and I know for 2 out of the 3 times I did it I had sales before. I can’t remember if I did for one of the books. But I also had sales after the promo too for all the books. But this is definitely something I’m going to see if I can look into because now I want to know the answer too.

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